Treatment plant project will be done in phases

Engineer: Estimated cost now exceeds $8M; ARPA funds to help

The estimated cost of needed upgrades to the City of Yukon’s wastewater treatment plant, 501 W Wagner Road, has risen to more than $8 million. Yukon city officials plan to make the improvements in 10 phases over multiple years, with the project partially funded through a federal stimulus package. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

With the projected cost having increased significantly, upgrades to Yukon’s wastewater treatment plant will be done in phases.

Joe Davis

On July 19, Yukon city engineer Joe Davis told the city council the construction estimate is now $8.07 million. That’s $3 million-plus more than it was 2-1/2 years ago.

Improvements are needed at the City of Yukon’s wastewater treatment plant to increase its rated capacity – from 3 million to 5 million gallons per day – due to the community’s growth, TEIM Design representatives told city officials.

“We recognize it’s a very substantial cost to the city, and we recognize the city’s going to be looking for as many opportunities as they can to fund the project,” Davis said during a city council work session.

In 2022, the Yukon Capital Projects Advisory Board considered including the wastewater treatment plant upgrade as part of a general obligation bond issue package for Yukon voters to consider at a citywide election. Ultimately, only road projects were listed on a February ballot that was resoundingly defeated.

Yukon city leaders now plan to use other sources – such as American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal stimulus funds – to pay for the facility’s expansion and repairs.

But ARPA funds will not cover all improvements needed at the wastewater treatment plant, 501 W Wagner Road on Yukon’s north side.

TEIM Design engineers have worked with Yukon city staff and plant operator Veolia Water to plan this project over multiple years.

“We identified 10 different phases we can have ‘stand-alone’ projects to go ahead and bid, to meet the budget constraints the city may have in the future,” Davis explained.

The project’s price tag grew due to additional required testing of the North Canadian River and higher cost of materials to make needed plant improvements, he said.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality requested testing of “wet flows and dry flows” to determine the project’s expected impact on the river, Davis noted.

Yukon’s city engineer said this testing was “not anticipated” when TEIM Design was awarded the original design contract in December 2020. The initial construction estimate was $4.92 million.

“It’s a very specialized testing that has to be done,” Davis pointed out. “There’s only one company that we could find in the greater region that would come in and do the testing for us.”

TEIM Design’s fees for the Yukon wastewater treatment plant project qualify under ARPA program requirements.

“You’re getting a 100% project at the end of the day,” Davis told city council members. “The design would be paid for, and the construction would be paid for also.”

The City of Yukon’s engineering firm will provide bidding services, construction administration, as-builts and construction observation for the treatment plant upgrade project.

Although the overall construction cost has increased over $3 million, Davis said TEIM’s fees have “stayed virtually the same as the original contract.”



In 2021, the City of Yukon was awarded $4,905,020 in ARPA funds directly from the federal government.

Yukon recently received another $3,725,438 allocated by Canadian County Commissioners from the county’s $28.8 million award.

Yukon city officials also are using these federal ARPA dollars to replace aging water and sewer lines.

The Yukon  l, at its July 19th regular meeting, selected TEIM Design to provide engineering services for ARPA-funded water and sewer infrastructure upgrades and the wastewater treatment plant project.

In July 2021, city engineer Robbie Williams outlined these proposed plant upgrades:

  • Evaluate screw pumps.
  • Upgrade aeration piping and diffusers in the aeration tank.
  • Replace blowers.
  • Upgrade the final clarifier splitter box to allow use of all three final clarifiers.
  • Complete the replacement of clarifier equipment in one clarifier.
  • Improve aeration in the sludge digester.
  • Improvements to the final effluent discharge to include pumping for wet weather flows.
  • Regarding and rehabilitation of the flow equalization ponds.
  • Instrumentation and stand-by generator.

The Yukon WWTP was constructed in 1978 and improvements were made in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2007, and 2014.

Previous upgrades were: Storm water pump to overflow lagoons, conversion to fine bubble diffusors, new blower building, new fine screen, new belt press building, water re-use system, new clarifier, new clarifier equipment, new clarifier pumps, new screw pump, new screen for larger debris, and fine screen replacement.